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Author photo. Inge Auerbacher. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Inge Auerbacher. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Inge Auerbacher

Author of I Am a Star: Child of the Holocaust

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Inge Auerbacher was born to an observant Jewish family in Kippenheim, a village in southwestern Germany. Her father, a textile merchant, had been a soldier in the German Army during World War I and received the Iron Cross for service to his country. During
Kristallnacht in 1938, the family had to hide from the rioting mob in their backyard shed. They sold their house and moved in with Inga's grandparents in Jebenhausen. At the end of 1941, her grandmother and other members of her family were sent to Riga, Latvia, where they were shot; others were sent to Poland, never to be seen again. In 1942, Inge, age seven, and her parents were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. She was among the one percent of children in the camp who survived. After three years, she and her parents were liberated by the Soviet Army in May 1945. They initially returned to Germany, but emigrated to the USA in 1946. Inge was hospitalized for two years, and eventually graduated with honors from Bushwick High School in Brooklyn. She completed a BS degree in chemistry at Queens College of CCNY in 1958, and continued with post-graduate work in biochemistry. She worked for more than 38 years as a chemist doing research and clinical work. She also published numerous poems and articles although was silent about her Holocaust experiences until 1981. Since then, she has lectured on the Holocaust to thousands of people in the USA, Canada and Germany, and appeared in several documentary films, including The Olympic Doll. Her memoirs include I Am A Star: Child of the Holocaust (1993), and Beyond the Yellow Star to America (2003). She has been awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1999) and other honors.
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